Water supply and irrigation effects on alfalfa
J. R. Davis, Stanford Research Institute
A. W. Fry, Kearney Horticultural Field Station
L. G. Jones, University of California
California Agriculture 17(4):4-5. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v017n04p4.
Application of additional irrigation water increased hay yields, but water in excess of about 2 feet did not appear to be particularly beneficial, according to recent tests at Davis. Adding the depth of initial soil moisture storage, and assuming an irrigation efficiency of 70%, the total annual water requirement of alfalfa under these conditions is about 4 1/2 acre-feet. When water supplies are deficient, a good crop can be maintained with less than 8 inches of water applied, if the soil moisture reservoir is full in the spring. If about 2 feet of water is available for the hay crop, there appears to be little difference between applying water early or in equal amounts throughout the season.
J. R. Davis was formerly Specialist, Department of Irrigation, Davis, California and is now with Stanford Research Institute; A. W. Fry was formerly Assistant Engineer, Department of Irrigation, Davis, and is now Superintendent, Kearney Horticultural Field Station; L. G. Jones is Specialist, Department of Agronomy, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of California, Davis.